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Friday 9 December 2016

Lionel Messi 'headbutts' Roma defender in bad tempered friendly

Lionel Messi escaped being sent off for Barcelona for this clash with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Lionel Messi escaped being sent off for Barcelona for this clash with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

Lionel Messi was fortunate to escape a red card after appearing to aim a headbutt at a Roma defender during a bad-tempered pre-season 'friendly' at the Nou Camp.

The Argentina international was booked following the clash with Frenchman Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, which took place in the first half of Barca's 3-0 win.

Messi reacted angrily after being confronted by Yanga-Mbiwa, and seemed to push his head into the former Newcastle player's face before attempting to grab him by the throat.

Messi - who also scored in the game - has never been sent off for Barcelona and has only earned one red card in his whole career, on his international debut against Hungary.

Messi returned late to training following the Copa America and this was his chance to show his form to Luis Enrique in the final friendly game ahead of the European Super Cup clash against Sevilla next Tuesday.

Messi was among a host of players taken off after 60 minutes of the game in Catalonia. Barcelona open their La Liga title defence against Athletic Bilbao on August 23.

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